Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 16, 2015

Mark Waid: X-Men #137 Came Out 35 Years Ago Today

He says so right here.

imageX-Men #137 was the climactic point of the long Chris Claremont/John Byrne partnership on Marvel's X-Men characters, which along with Frank Miller's work on Daredevil became foundational comics for everything that's come since. I've also heard it called the last fan-favorite newsstand comic, although I'm not sure that's 100 percent true.

To my memory, no superhero book did or has since done the superheroes-as-underdogs thing any better over a sustained period of time than that series did. With most superheroes and superhero teams there are fans that derive an uneasy amount of self-worth from one or more of the characters and therefore can't stand seeing them struggle. The X-Men line-up was new enough that dragging them through the mud was still possible. These could be dour, deathsoaked comics in a way that really appealed to a lot of kids I knew: it isn't just identification with characters that bonds a comic to a kid, it can be a whiff that the journeys are much the same; teens love doomed romanticism, or at least I did.

I stopped comics for a while and my first buy back was X-Men #125, so I basically owe this series the shape of my entire life. By the time #137 came around I was a big fan again and bought a lot of different comics and had enough momentum in doing so that I would never again stop, not even really in college.
posted 5:45 pm PST | Permalink

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